August 24, 2012 11:34am PT by Michael O'Connell
Emmys 2012: Sarah Paulson on Political Theater, 'American Horror Story' Season 2 (Video)
Sarah Paulson did not have take on a widely-caricatured role in HBO's Game Change -- something of a blessing for the actress.
"There was a freedom in knowing that, at the very least, no one would be comparing me to Tina Fey," she recently told The Hollywood Reporter when she stopped by the THR cover lounge.
Paulson played strategist and talking head Nicolle Wallace, who famously clashed with Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential election. But all of that took place far away from cameras, giving the actress the chance to play in some of the HBO film's most unexpected scenes and lock down an Emmy nomination for supporting actress in a movie or miniseries.
The experience also gave her a different perspective on the upcoming election.
"I definitely think it's made me more aware that what I'm seeing may not be the truth... that probably always should have been how I looked at it," she say. "I had a friend once say to me, why wouldn't you be interested in [politics]. It's the greatest theater that could ever be. The stakes couldn't be higher, the players couldn't be more insane."
Speaking of insanity, Paulson has to stay tight-lipped about her turn on the upcoming run of American Horror Story: Asylum. Co-creator Ryan Murphy isn't even letting her give out her character's name.
"I think this season is much more about psychological terrors and about people who have been left unloved and unwanted in the 60s," she says of the mental ward setting. "The time period plays very heavily into the horror."
And if the first run of American Horror Story taught viewers anything, it's that the lead characters don't have the highest mortality rate. That could open up Paulson for another job down the line.
Her former Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip boss Aaron Sorkin, who was the first person to applaud her Game Change work, might want her on Newsroom.
"I emailed him, congratulating him about the show, and he said, 'Come be on it,'" says Paulson. "I am waiting for that call."
Watch Sarah Paulson talk about Game Change, American Horror Story and Newsroom in both of her THR interviews.